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Ever meet someone but not really? That’s the beauty of meeting a perfect stranger on the internet. Almost immediately upon contact you can decide if you want to continue communications or if you want to hit that block button. Let’s be real, you never know what you’ll get. This time around, I lucked out and met my first perfect stranger.
Imagine this. You meet someone who touches you, reignites your soul, encourages you, inspires you to reach for more and let go of self reservations. Strangers can be the most impactful people in your world. Strangers can become acquaintances, and in turn become friends and loved ones. And some can revert back to being strangers.
I met my first stranger some time during the ninth month in 2018. It was on Twitter. I was fairly new to it and didn’t find it as appealing as Instagram. But I figured it would be a good platform to just be myself. I began tweeting about whatever was on my mind without worrying about receiving criticism from people I knew personally. It started one night when he liked some of my tweets. Then I liked some of his. The following day he liked a couple new tweets back to back and I returned some as well. I don’t recall what we liked. It could be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ posts, food posts, politics, our similar detest for POTUS45 or some of my motivational posts. I’m sure I could look back at our chats, but the way my internet speed is set up, that would require a tremendous amount of time for Twitter to download and pull from its archive. Who knows and who cares? I do recall how amazed I was that he found my only vaping selfie video clip that was well hidden in a ton of media. That one night of acknowledging each other’s “likes” created the desire to reach out, slide into the DM, and thank each other for the “love” shown on the Twitter timeline.
The first two weeks, we chatted for an hour each day. We learned a bit about each other, our families, our backgrounds and experiences. Every day I looked forward to our chats and delving into a world containing anything that didn’t involve my own mayhem. I suffered 18 months of postpartum depression (PPD). No one knew the severity of this. I was just trying to keep a smile on my face and get through it, and most times, barely surviving by the end of the night. He helped me escape. He became the catalyst to me healing from my undiagnosed PPD. This perfect stranger has been so polite, concerned, attentive and receptive to everything I had to say. In my heart, I felt like I could breathe. It was a calming sensation. Isn’t it funny how something someone does for another person can leave such an imprint? His genuine interest and reactions in my day to day life made me realize that I was more than my kids’ mother. I am more than a Director of Domestic Operations, which is a fancy way I happen to call a stay-at-home mom. I am more than a woman in a passion dormant marriage. He helped me remember who I was before I fell into my depression. For all that, I will forever grateful.
My first perfect stranger truly is an amazing family man. He’s taken care of his wife, especially while she was injured and needed him, all while juggling care for himself and his health. He does the everyday parental duties but he goes above and beyond for his children. He’s attended their school activities, prepared their meals, checked homework, loved them and nurtured them making sure they are on track to success. He’s intelligent with a mind full of information and comprehends quickly. He’s also a bit naive. His gullibility allowed him to open up, get to know and trust me, also a stranger online. He’s been approachable and non-judgmental as I go through sharing details of my life. I have never felt ashamed of opening up to him. He displayed empathy during my struggles. He’s encouraged and empowered me during my times of self-doubt as a mother, wife, and woman. Qualities an introvert looks for and appreciates, an overall awesome human being.
Time has passed since meeting him. A few new faces have come and gone. It makes me understand further what it means to have a person be in your life for a reason, or if they’re in your life for a season or if they are players to stay for a lifetime. I’m currently working on one particular stranger who’s taken the role of a calculated, reckless driver in my imagination and it’s driving me wild. And I like that.
Most of us were raised to be weary of new people. We were raised not to open up and give away too much information about ourselves especially to strangers. This is just to let you know that it’s okay sometimes. Use some precaution but also use your intuition and detective skills to see if a new found person is worth the time and effort in pursuing a friendship.
Just with any friendship or relationship that may come to a close, any time and any day, I will always remember my first perfect stranger.